I have hundreds of photos of coffee. Espresso, pour-over, cappuccinos, and more. Different destinations from Melbourne to Paris, and from San Francisco to Prague.
Why do I always take what is thought of as a cliche photo?
It didn't dawn on me until a few days ago when I was asked which photos on my social media do I love to post. I said, obviously a beautiful landscape or great interior shots, but one classic photo that people engage with is coffee. I was asked why, and it dawned on me....
As I thought about it more, I believe the photo of coffee resonates with myself and with others because of something more important then just another "latte photo."
I think the reason it hits home is because it reminds us of a moment of connection. The ritual of having coffee is typically a time shared with someone else. It's a moment where we connected with another person, close or new. Maybe it's a time where we shared something personal, became vulnerable, and processed a tough situation. For myself, sometimes it's a moment of getting to unplug from work, being in the heartbeat in the city — watching people interact with one another, and taking a minute.
Either way, the act of having coffee is sacred.
The ritual of having coffee has had its roots in many cultures across different nations. Take a place like Jordan, where the act of offering chai was an invitation into their home and a way to welcome another. In Eastern Europe, coffee houses have had their roots deep in the cities, some of which have been around for a century or two. It was a time for families, or friends to break away and sit there face to face and connect.
So when I take a photo of a latte, that is what I'm thinking. It was a moment in time I love to reflect on and I suppose taking a photo of it is my way of savoring the moment — trying to imprint the memory forever. And more so, encourage others to get out there, go have a coffee by yourself, invite someone to join, and connect.